James Phillips Lentz passed away peacefully on September 29th following a battle with brain cancer. A lifelong resident of Newport News, "Jimmy" graduated from Newport News High School in 1960 where he played Varsity Basketball. He graduated as a marine designer from the Newport News Apprentice School in 1965. There he formed friendships lasting a lifetime, fondly referring to his former classmates as the Apprentice School Boys. Over the course of his career as a naval designer he worked for the Newport News Ship Yard before being hired by M. Rosenblatt & Son. He worked primarily in Washington D.C. and traveled to shipbuilding locations around the world to include the Philippines, Australia and Japan. He finished his naval design career where he began, the Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. Jimmy or J.P. as some of his friends called him, always enjoyed a movie or margarita night out with his daughters, spending time with his grandchildren and weekends with his longtime friend Hattie House. He loved driving his Porsche (the car of his dreams) but more than anything else he loved to play golf. From Newport News and Hampton to Williamsburg, the Carolinas, Georgia and beyond he loved the most stark par-three courses to the fanciest championship courses. After his retirement he worked a number of summers at Langley Air Force Base teaching youngsters the fine art of the game and trying to breed future golfers – even providing clubs for kids who couldn't afford them. Prior to his final illness he was "working" as a starter at the Golden Horseshoe where he refused tips stating…"I don't do this for the money…I just do it for the fun of it". Preceded in death by his mother Rebecca A. Smith and father Raymond P. Lentz, Jr., he leaves behind daughters, Sydney Kemper Lentz Horne and Whitney Phillips Lentz Sanzo and their mother Gail Sponsler Lentz; his grandchildren Logan Phillips Sanzo, Waco James Battle Horne and Liberty Don Alonza Horne; his siblings Ronald Joseph Lentz, David Franklin Lentz, Rita Lentz Powell, Raymond P. Lentz III, Sylvia Lentz-Garver, Susan Lentz-Dyszkewics, and Jim Young; and many other nieces and nephews. Jimmy spent the last days of his life in the lovely Williamsburg home of his brother David and his beautiful wife, Deborah, who welcomed family and friends, for final visits. The family will be forever grateful for their hospitality and kindness. A Memorial Service to celebrate Jimmy's life will be held on Friday, October 5, 2018 at 1:00 p.m. at the Weymouth Funeral Home, 12746 Nettles Drive, Newport News, followed by a reception. In lieu of flowers the family urges everyone to treat themselves to an ice cold beer at your favorite 19th hole and say a toast to a life well lived. Arrangements by Weymouth Funeral Home.
Published in Daily Press on Oct. 3, 2018.